Mini-Review: Raye Wagner’s Son of War Novella

Title:  Son of War
Series: The Sphinx 
Author: Raye Wagner
Genre: 
Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Mythology
Publication Date: April 27, 2017
Publisher:
 R. Wagner
Rating: 

 

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review

(So this is a mini-review for a mini-book aka novella, hope ya’ll enjoy)

If you’ve read any of The Sphinx books, you’ll definitely like this short and sweet look into Xan. I did have a little bit placing this book time-wise in regards to the novels, it is somewhere pre-Hope going to the conservatory but not sure about the exact amount of years—especially tricky since demigods live like forever.

Xan essentially is a fighter—he goes out and tracks and kills monsters. But then something happens at the beginning of the book that gets him in trouble and on trial and he faces the possibility of having to stay at the conservatory. He obviously doesn’t like this, but it might not matter because almost everyone in the conservatory is incompetent and the place is falling apart so they might need his help. Continue reading

Review: Sarah J. Maas’ Crown of Midnight

Title: Crown of Midnight
Series: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: 
Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Publication Date: August 27th, 201e
Pages: 
418
Publisher:
 Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Rating: 

Crown of Midnight is the second book in the Throne of Glass series—if you didn’t know that I’m not sure where you’ve been for like the last five years—if you have not read the first book this review will include spoilers. You can read my review of the first book here.

I loved Throne of Glass when I read it this past summer—aka forever ago. But for some reason, I could not pick up Crown of Midnight. I mean, it has literally been on my to-be-read list every month this year. I gave all the excuses, including: it’s going to be good, and then I’m going to want to read the next book, and then the next book, and I don’t have time for that—really, not reading it because it’s going to be too good?

But, I recently forced myself to start it—if just to avoid the shame of putting it on another TBR—and I was right, it is good. Phenomenal actually, so much so that I’m mad at myself for not reading it sooner—but also kind of glad because the series isn’t finished and we’re going to be waiting like forever for the next two books.

Anyway, Crown of Midnight kind of has the makings of a filler book: nothing huge happens plot wise, no real rising or falling action. Mainly, Celaena is navigating her relationships at the castle and uncovering some new and dangerous information—which was hinted at in the first book. Still, while it has all the components of a filler book, it doesn’t feel like one. I was strapped in and along for the ride the whole time, not wanting to get off even if I could. I could literally spend all day with this cast of characters. Continue reading

Review: Raye Wagner’s Splintered Souls Novella

Title: Splintered Souls
Series: A Runes Universe Story
Author: Raye Wagner
Genre: 
Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Mythology
Publication Date: April 18, 2017
Publisher:
Amazon Digital Services
Rating: 

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Raye’s The Sphinx series is like one of my favorites. I adore the mythology of it. This novella is a bit different because it is part of a different universe—I belive it belongs to Ednah Walter’s Runes world. But it still fits really well into the genre of Raye’s other stories. And I think if you enjoy those you’ll enjoy this.

Aricela Topaz has had a hard life sold into prostitution and other horrors by her brother and boyfriend. But then she is offered the opportunity of another life—to be a Valkyrie, charged to take the souls of fallen warriors and athletes to Valhalla. But recently she has been failing in her duties, unwilling to connect with the souls she will connect, and has one more opportunity to prove herself. Accept she gets a little too close to the boy that she will end up having to escort after his death.

I liked this. It was a quick short read that once again kind of toes the contemporary world and a mythic one. Raye’s writing like always really takes command of these myths and stories and really adapts them to this crossworld. She does a really great job getting into Aricela’s head.  Continue reading

Review: Jonah Lisa Dyer & Stephen Dyer’s The Season

Title: The Season
Author: 
Jonah Lisa Dyer, Stephen Dyer
Genre: 
Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Publication Date: July 12, 2016
Pages: 
326
Publisher:
Viking Children’s
Rating: 

Megan is a hundred percent focused on soccer and her dreams of the national team—box jumps, burpees, laps, she can do it all. But then her mother secretly enters her in the state’s most prestigious debutante season and she’s furious. Megan has a month to prove herself, splitting time between bench pressing and ballroom dance lessons. Only upside to being a deb, the parties. Despite not being one for makeup and gowns, the guys at the events might make being a deb worth Megan’s time. But that’s before she gets wrapped up with an insufferable young millionaire, ends up in a class with ten year olds, and throws a punch.

You all don’t know how excited I was when I found out about this book a couple months ago. First, ya’ll might not know this but I love anything soccer related, I actually played for like thirteen years. But this has soccer and debutantes, so it sounded like an amazing book version of She’s the Man—I love that movie and if you haven’t seen it you should watch it like now. And the more I read it, the more the book turned into like a Pride and Prejudice inspired story. So this book from the start really just has two things I love and that alone has me liking it.

Megan—our protagonist—is a college soccer player with dreams of making the national team. She is kind of the more stereotypical like tough tomboy sports girl, which I’m kind of eh about but like she evolves a little and honestly yeah that is what some female athletes are like so I wasn’t 100% sure. I also wished we got some more of her doing some like real serious soccer training just because that’s something I like. Anyway, I did enjoy her. Megan has a soft side for her dad, her twin sister, and their ranch but besides that like I said she is pretty tough. She is stubborn and determined and those traits really keep her going. She also has a really sarcastic sense of humor, which was one of my favorite things about her. Continue reading

Review: Jessica Khoury’s The Forbidden Wish

Title: The Forbidden Wish
Author: 
Jessica Khoury
Genre: 
Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Retelling
Publication Date: February 23, 2016
Pages: 
352
Publisher:
 Razorbill
Rating: 

Zahra is the world’s most powerful jinni, but still faces confinement to her lamp and obedience to her master. As a punishment she hasn’t been out hundreds of years—as punishments for an old war—but then Aladdin finds her lamp. Thrust into a world where magic is now illegal and her existence leads to persecution, Zahra is offered the chance at freedom but it might just mean betraying Aladdin—the boy she finds herself falling for despite previous heartbreak and lessons learned.

This is an Aladdin retelling with the hook being that the jinni is female. That itself was enough to get me interested and reading. It was probably enough for me to enjoy this book, but The Forbidden Wish ended up being so much more and so much more than the classic tale we all know and I loved that.

The writing was really beautiful and lush—as described in the Sarah J. Maas blurb. I think it has a lot to do with the point-of-view character, Zahra the like ancient jinni. Her experience, wisdom, and strength really ooze into the language of the book. Continue reading

Review: Gena Showalter’s Lifeblood

Title: Lifeblood
Series: Everlife
Author: 
Gena Showalter
Genre: 
Young Adult Fiction, Dystopian
Publication Date: February 28, 2017
Pages: 
443
Publisher:
 Harlequin Teen
Rating: 

I received this book for free  in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Lifeblood is the second book in this series, to avoid spoilers I suggest first reading the first book—which you can read my review for here.

I started this book the second I put down Firstlife. So much happened at the end of the last book—Archer died, Ten pledged Troikan, Ten died, Killian fought his own people, Killian and Ten are separated, and they’re light and dark so it hurts for their souls to touch. Oh, and now Ten is supposed to go to Troika and be a Conduit and save them all. No big deal, right? Like I said, a lot of stuff.

Lifeblood picks up directly where the first book left off. Ten, even though she finally picked Troika, ends up feeling pretty isolated. Archer is dead and a lot of people know how she defended Killian and blame her for their loses in that fight.

I loved that just because people tell her she’s the Conduit doesn’t mean she believes them right away. She just doesn’t accept that she’s this chosen one. And even though she is Troikan now and is supposed to be all about forgiveness, sometimes it takes her a moment to reflect. Forgiveness isn’t always easy. Continue reading

Review: Gena Showalter’s Firstlife

Title: Firstlife
Series: Everlife
Author: 
Gena Showalter
Genre: 
Young Adult Fiction, Dystopian, Fantasy
Publication Date: February 23, 2016
Pages: 
467
Publisher:
Harlequin Teen
Rating: 

I received this book for free  in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I got so sucked into this book and world. I couldn’t put it down. It really is so unique. Essentially, we are in a world where you get a first life and an everlife. Your first life is essentially like our life new, then when you die you go into the everlife. When you go into the everlife there are three options where you end up and you have to prepick them before you die. You can pledge Troika or Myriad—two waring realms—or if you don’t pick you will end up in the scary realm of Many Ends—like an unknown hell essentially. Troika and Myriad have really different ideologies and have been at war for forever, and that division has even split into the firstlife realm—the Harvest realm.

Tenley—Ten—Lockwood has refused to be forced to choose by her parents and consequently has been locked up in an asylum by them. Both realms are trying very hard to recruit her and send their best laborers—recruiters essentially—who are two boys about to turn Ten’s world upside down.

At times the concept was a little hard to grasp with the different roles of the realms and like the laws between realms. Like the boys were there in the firstlife realm even though they belonged to the everlife and interacted with people, it took me a little bit to get it. But overall, it got sorted out and it is a very unique and developed world—and plays well off of our afterlife beliefs. I loved the idea of having two lives and having to pick where you’d go in the second one.  Continue reading

Review: Beth Ellyn Summer’s At First Blush

Title: At First Blush
Author: Beth Ellyn Summer
Genre: 
Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
Pages: 
340
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Spark
Rating: 

I received this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Lacey has thousands of followers watching her makeup tutorials on LaceyBlushes—her YouTube channel. And she dreams of the day when her count reaches a million. A high school internship at a fashion magazine might just be the key. She can spend the summer holed up in the makeup closet creating more amazing videos than ever.

But her plans come to a crash when the editor assigns her junk products to sponsor and when the magazine’s feature celebrity—troubled teen musician Tyler Lance—just wont leave her alone. Everything culminates in pushing her to choose between her online self and real life self: creating the opportunity for her to gain or lose everything.

At First Blush was beyond a pleasant surprise. I hadn’t heard anything about the book and didn’t really remember the description from when I requested it like forever ago. It has so many good things that I absolutely love.

First it has makeup. I don’t share it a lot on here—besides my makeup haul—but I have recently gotten moderately into makeup and doing my makeup. It also has YouTube. I loved getting a behind the scenes look at what it means to be sort of this big top-level YouTuber. I don’t follow any makeup or beauty YouTubers—although I like to think I’d follow LaceyBlushes (making that channel with videos would’ve been such good marketing promo)—I do follow a handful of BookTubers and really enjoy the community. Continue reading